There was a letter on Ask a Manager from a person who was more productive than their coworkers in the best of times and was even more productive during the pandemic. They were open about being fortunate that they didn’t have kids and they were flourishing in a non-open space work situation. Their manager told them they needed to cut back on their productivity because they were stressing out their coworkers. All the work had to be pushed forward together, and the coworkers all had children and other stress-inducing things in their lives. The writer noted that their anxiety was kept in check by their work, and they were afraid they would spiral without it. They also didn’t like the idea of taking a paycheck while deliberately slowing their pace. They wanted to know what they should do.
Alison said that it was not a great way of managing in normal circumstances and wasn’t great now, either, but that the letter writer (LW) should at least try doing as her manager ordered. Then, if it didn’t work for them, they could go back and ask to rejigger. My word, not hers.
I thought it was an interesting letter and that Alison’s answer was solid–but also missed addressing the fact that the LW was dealing with their own anxiety issues. The comment section surprised me, though it shouldn’t have. There were so many people saying they wished they had the LW’s problem, Alison had to put a blue note up at the top telling them not to do that unless they had concrete advice to include. There were also people scolding the LW for making their coworkers more anxious, as if that was their problem. It was disheartening because I identified with the LW to some extent.
Not the productive part because I”m exactly as productive as I was before. I’m keeping to my schedule and not deviating from it. I’m not suddenly learning another language or baking creative pastries or knitting anything. I’m just keeping pretty much to my life in general except I’ve only been to one place in the last month–the pharmacy. Oh, and, becoming way too fucking intimate with Zoom. If I never have to use Zoom again, it would be too soon. It’s better than nothing for taiji, though–I have to give it that.